In the framework of the Admin4All project, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a Regional Consultation gathering representatives from local and national authorities, EU institutions and academia to discuss challenges and opportunities of a well-managed social inclusion of migrants at local level.
The event took place on October the 8th and 9th in Milan bringing together more than 30 European municipalities and representatives of key national ministries from 7 EU Member States with a view to fostering the exchange of good practices related to migrant integration.
The consultation fell within the scope of the project ADMin4ALL – Supporting Social Inclusion of Vulnerable Migrants in Europe – funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and implemented by the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Italy, Spain, Austria, Romania, Poland, Greece and Malta.
Topics addressed during the Regional Consultation included models of local governance for social services for migrants and social innovation leveraging civil society and the private sector – presented by the project’s research partner, the Migration Policy Institute Europe – as well as the challenges related to the access to housing, local labour markets and the education system for third country nationals – addressed during three thematic workshops, in which municipalities participated actively comparing their local situations and sharing their experience and strategies.
Among participants, the Consultation welcomed the Welfare Deputy Mayor of Milan, Mr. Rabaiotti, who debated models of management of social services for migrant integration in urban areas in a high-level panel of discussion with the Director of Migrants Attention and Welcoming Policies of the Municipality of Barcelona, Mr. Sanahuja Vélez, and the General Director of Primary Care, Community Intervention and Social Emergency of Madrid City Council, Mr. Gonzalo López.
IOM also invited to the Consultation the Director of the Integration and Anti-Racism Unit within the Maltese Ministry for European Affairs and Equality, Mr. Tortell, to discuss strategies for improved coordination between national and local authorities on migrant integration during a second high-level panel with Mr. Di Dio – Migration & Labour Integration Policy Specialist and consultant for the Italian Ministry of Labour – and Mr. Riziou – Specialist officer for integration and resettlement within the Department of Asylum and Integration of the Romanian Ministry of the Interior.
As highlighted by Laurence Hart, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, who opened the discussion: “it is at the local level that integration processes take place in everyday life, and where policies designed and adopted nationally or regionally are implemented, for this reason, local authorities play a key role in integrating migrants and empowering them to contribute to their new communities”.
Mr. van Gessel from the European Commission (DG Employment) closed the Consultation, thanking all the participating municipalities for their commitment in the frontline to addressing migrants’ integration needs, thus translating into reality the policies conceived in Brussels.
*Laura Marmorale is the former deputy mayor for citizenship rights and social cohesion